Liberia: Sen. Moye Bashes at Govt for Being Wasteful while Citizens Suffer in Poverty￼
MONROVIA – The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Public Administration, Senator Prince Kermue Moye, says Liberia and its citizens are experiencing the most turbulent times under the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government of President George Manneh Weah as evidenced by the growing wave of societal ills and questionable wealth being accumulated by top government officials thereby threatening the wellbeing of the masses.
Senator Moye is representing the people of Bong County in the 54th National Legislature on the ticket of the former governing Unity Party (UP).
He observed that though the guns are silent, the country’s peace remains fragile due to the unequitable distribution of the country’s resources among the citizenry.
Senator Moye made these comments when he delivered the keynote address at the convocation and graduation exercises of the Carver Christian University recently.
He named abject poverty, inflation and economic hardship, lack of jobs and opportunities for young people, and the increase in crime rate which remain, as impediments confronting Liberia and its citizens presently.
He noted that only a select few groups of people at the helm of power are the ones benefitting from the wealth and resources of the country.
“As a country, we are experiencing some of our most turbulent times in our 200 years of existence. Peace and tranquility do not just signal the silence of the guns, it is also the willingness of state and non-state actors to uphold justice and the rule of law”.
“Peace also relates to ensuring equitability in the distribution of national wealth and resources. When a segment of the population feels marginalized, when ordinary people lack access to basic social services such as quality education and healthcare, electricity and safe drinking water, and dignified employment opportunities, while a few at the top swim in a pool of wealth supposedly drawn from the covers of the state, then we all have to be concerned”.
Senator Moye maintained that the high level of disenchantment among the citizens as a result of these ills creates “volatile and potential situations” which threaten the peace and tranquility of the society.
“More importantly, we must all remain awake and echo our collective voices for the abandoned, the marginalized and the downtrodden. We must see doing so as a historical mandate and such clarion call to political authority must be loud and resounding”.
What causes a nation’s destruction?
Senator Moye observed that the collapse of a nation’s education system is tantamount to the destruction of said nation.
He added that one does not necessarily need missiles and heavy artillery in order to destroy a nation.
“One only needs to render the education system corrupt, messy and fraudulent in order to destroy the nation. Such an education system produces teachers that are inept. Patients die at the hands of incompetent doctors and nurses produced by such an education system”.
Unfair and controversial rulings
He pointed out that Judges who are educated by a “corrupt and messy education system” always hand down “unfair and controversial rulings”.
According to him, the infrastructure also collapses due to the incompetence of engineers who school in such a system.
“In such a system, corruption and disorderliness become the order of the day. Such are the hallmarks of a destitute and broken education system. Therefore, if we seek to build a great nation and a vibrant society, we must all work together with sincerity and commitment to improving the status of education in our nation”.
As a result of the current situation, Senator Moye stressed the need for members of the National Legislature to see it as a national duty
to enact laws that prioritize standardized practices in the general performances of various actors in the sector.
He said the Ministry of education and its subsidiaries must ensure the implementation of such laws and regulations.
He called for university administrations to conduct the affairs of their institutions in ways and manners that conform to academic best practices.
“Schools must collect fees only for services they provide. Professors and Lecturers must focus on the academic progress and social development of their individual students; and not exchange grades for sex or money. Students must be challenged to study hard and succeed”.
“Our efforts to transform education must be concerted and well-coordinated, with all actors gladly honoring their responsibilities”.
He maintained that by doing so, authorities and others will “inch closer to achieving Sustainable development goal 4 which stresses the need to provide quality, equitable education and life-long learning opportunities for all”.
According to him, the attainment of this goal remains “just a dream of the Liberian education system”.
“Long standing impacts of the prolonged and devastating civil upheaval, compounded by the closure of schools during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in 2014/2015 and the Corona Virus in 2020/2021 continue to take a toll on our country’s fragile education system”.
He disclosed that despite the daunting challenges in the country’s education sector, he and others have made significant advances since taking over as chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Public Administration.
Senator Moye named some of those actions as the establishment of the Joint Education Committee Secretariat to monitor, validate, verify and ensure compliance and accountability in the general performances with the Education Sector; joining the Ministry of Education and other education stakeholders at the Join Education Sector Review (JESR) which identified a clear direction for the development of an Education Sector Plan for the next five years and leveraging influence to ensure the allocation of additional resources in the 2022 National Budget for the hiring of volunteer teachers to fill as many vacant classrooms across public schools, adding that, “this year about 600 volunteer teachers have already been enrolled to the Ministry of Education payroll as a consequence of this effort.
Others include: working with the Ministry of Education and partners to purchase vehicles for County Education Officers (CEOs), and motorbikes for Monitoring and Evaluation Officers and District Education Officers (DEOs) in a bid to increase monitoring and supervision within the school systems and generating improved learning outcomes, and overseeing the planning of an education budgeting and financing dialogue for members of the Education and Ways, Means, Finance and Budget Committees at the Senate and House of Representatives (an event which was sponsored and facilitated by UNICEF, Liberia office).
The rest include: gracing the occasion of the National PTA Network Retreat in Gbarnga and giving a commitment and support to their work in helping to identify and respond to the needs of schools across the country via monitoring and supervision.
Hope for the future
He emphasized that despite the tough times citizens are encountering, they should bear in mind that the country is at a very critical juncture.
Senator Moye added that Liberia should never be about the haves and haves not, the educated versus the illiterate, believers versus unbelievers, or congou versus natives.
“We should never, as a country, be divided on political, ethnic, sectional and religious line. In our post war history, never have we been more challenged, more confronted by circumstances threatening the wellbeing of our people, and more in need of leadership than we are now”.
He said citizens have an opportunity to reflect the current situations, and help Liberia shine the brightest once again, adding that, “to do so, we must start to take actions now”.
Senator Moye stated that though the going may be tough, times will be hard, opportunities will be limited, Liberians must continue to persevere and ensure that their country is on the right trajectory.
He noted that as dreadful as the state of the economy might be and the growing wave of insecurity, hardship and inequality, citizens should rise above the odds.
“We will rise to the point where fathers will earn just enough to take care of their families, we will rise to the point where the people will have access to water, electricity, and security, we will rise to a height where our students will perform and compete with their peers in the region, and across the globe. We will rise to the level where our flag and our passport will be respected across the world once again”.
As the nation moves to the 2023 general and presidential elections, the Bong County lawmaker urged citizens to breathe consciously.
“The onus is on your compare the life you live 12 years ago, as to the one almost six years now. A consciousness that will set our country on the right trajectory and relieve our people of untold suffering. As we think about transitioning Liberia into a middle-income country, where all citizens will have access to basic social services, peace and stability, as well as justice and the rule of law, let us consider that Liberia belongs to all of us, and that we all must be our brother’s keeper”.
“When the day dawns, and we sight a new beam of hope, we all shall match on with the flag of justice and equality, singing the anthem of unity and tranquility and propelling our country to victory over greed and marginalization”.
Leverage the values
Senator Moye further urged the graduates to go out and leverage the values of the education achieved for the benefit of them and their various communities.
“Everyone has 24 hours a day. Hereafter, your success will depend on how you use yours. Experiment with different approaches to time management and see what suits you best. Do not spend all of your time on the petty things, rather spend your time on the bigger things, those things that matter…your personal growth, your career, your health, etc. etc”.
He urged them to network with others, noting that, “someone else has whatever you want. If you can network with others, in a sincere and trustworthy way, you can get whatever you want”.
He said the graduates should pursue their dreams and have in minds that a dream written down with a date becomes a goal, a goal broken down into steps becomes a plan, and a plan backed by action becomes reality.
“Never quit on your dreams. Always remember that when you are about to quit, you are closer than ever before. The temptation to quit becomes the greatest just before you are about to succeed. It will not be a walk in the park, nor will it be rosy. You will lose friends along the way”.
He stressed that working on your dreams will sometimes keep you away from the centers of attraction, but it will certainly pay off in the future.
Meanwhile, the Carver Christian University has bestowed a “Doctorate of Humane Letters-Honoris Causa” on Senator Moye for his immense and indefatigable contributions to humanity not only in Bong County, but across the nation.
“I will forever remember this glamorous moment, day, and this institution. In Kpelle we say “Ka se’h aey” Senator Moye stated.